A NORTH Berwick soldier who was killed during the First World War has been remembered by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland and his wife.

Margaret Barr laid flowers on the French grave of her great uncle, who lost his life 100 years ago in the Battle of Arras.

Pt David Wyllie was one of 18,000 Scots killed in the six-week battle, one of the deadliest in the war.

Mrs Barr and husband the Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr attended the service on April 10 to remember the great-uncle Margaret never knew.

Ahead of the trip, she said: “It’s a huge privilege to go out to Arras and represent the family, and to lay a wreath. It will be quite poignant.

“I will go and see his grave at Duisans Cemetery and lay flowers. I think my father would be proud and happy that one of his family will be there at the ceremony.”

Margaret also revealed how a visit to Tyne Cot War Graves near Ypres showed her the magnitude of Mr Wyllie’s sacrifice.

She added: “We always said we will remember them, but for my generation World War One was almost forgotten.

“So I didn’t really connect it up until I went to Tyne Cot and saw his name on the computer. It really hit home.

“There were masses and masses of white stone. It was so big I could not take it in.

“If you read the history you get the immense feeling that people were just sent out there to be killed. It is very sad.

“Arras had the highest death rate per day of any of the battles.”

David was born in 1888, the eldest son of Robert and Jane Wyllie of the Heugh farm in North Berwick.

He initially served with the 14th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders before being moved to the 1/7th Battalion Black Watch.

Relatives told Margaret that David volunteered to serve because he thought it would be “an adventure”.

He was killed when the group he was travelling in – to a casualty clearing station to receive treatment for a foot injury – was shelled. He died on April 24, aged 29.

He is among the fallen remembered on the war memorial in North Berwick.

l Two Third Year history pupils from North Berwick High School took part in the commemorations.

Students Keir Davison and Taylor Wort were among 72 pupils representing each local authority in Scotland.